Lucid Group's customer reservations top 17,000 since end of third quarter

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Lucid Group completed its first quarter as a public company with a booming stock price and customer deliveries underway, as it seeks to grab the top spot in the burgeoning luxury EV market.

The company has come a long way since its founding as Atieva in 2007. After shifting its focus from EV battery and powertrain manufacturing to producing a line of luxury vehicles, the company went public in July after merging with Churchill Capital IV Corp. in one of the most hotly anticipated EV SPAC deals of the year.

Shares of the new EV entrant have nearly doubled over the past calendar month, going from around $27 per share on October 27 to $44.88 at the close of market Monday. The jump is likely due to the company commencing more than two dozen customer deliveries of the $169,000 Air Dream Edition sedan at the end of October. Just a few weeks prior, the automaker announced this variant had the longest EPA-certified range of any EV on the market at more than 520 miles, while the Lucid Grand Touring received a rating of 516 miles.

Overall, customer reservations increased to 13,000 in the third quarter, which reflects revenues of around $1.3 billion, the company said. Since the quarter’s closing, reservations jumped again to more than 17,000; that’s up from 11,000 reservations in July. The bulk of reservations are being made by people in the U.S., Lucid Group CEO Peter Rawlinson told investors Monday, with Saudi Arabia taking the second spot by order of reservations. The company has received major financial investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, and the fund continues to be the automaker’s largest shareholder.

Rawlinson said in a statement that he is confident the company will hit a production capacity of 20,000 vehicles next year. Lucid’s longer-term goal is just slightly more ambitious: 500,000 units by the end of the decade. But first, the company aims to deliver 520 Dream Editions to customers in the initial roll-out, followed by Grand Touring, Touring and Air Pure (the base model, which starts at around $77,000) next year.

The vehicles are manufactured in Lucid’s manufacturing facility in Casa Grande, Arizona, which it plans to expand by around 2.85 million square feet. The aim is to eventually manufacture up to 90,000 vehicles per year at the facility by the end of 2023, including the mysterious “Project Gravity” SUV, and up to 365,000 units overall, Rawlinson said.

Gravity is on track for production in late 2023, executives confirmed in the investor call. Rawlinson didn’t add too much more detail on the SUV, other than vowing that it is going to be “equally as disruptive in the SUV space as Air is in its space.”

Turning to the financials, the company is closing the quarter with around $4.8 billion in cash, which includes $4.4 billion from the SPAC merger and PIPE, as well as cash on the balance sheet at the time of the deal’s closing. CFO Sherry House specified that while the cost of production is reflected in this quarter’s earnings, vehicle revenues will not be reflected in financial statements until the next quarter as customer deliveries began October 30.

Also on Monday, Lucid Air was announced as MotorTrend’s 2022 Car of the Year. "For a new brand and a new company to win, to my knowledge, that’s only been done once before. I should know, I was there,” Rawlinson said, referring to Tesla’s win of the award for the Model S in 2012. Rawlinson previously worked as vehicle engineer of the Model S after joining the company in 2009.

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